Privacy: The Cloud's Achilles' Heel? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Cloud
Commentary
5/20/2010
05:07 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
50%
50%

Privacy: The Cloud's Achilles' Heel?

Security and privacy are both important issues in relation to cloud computing. And while it's easy to lump them together, security and privacy are really two separate issues, related but different. They need to be treated that way.

Security and privacy are both important issues in relation to cloud computing. And while it's easy to lump them together, security and privacy are really two separate issues, related but different. They need to be treated that way.

Security in a cloud computing engagement is emerging as an essential factor, one that should be addressed by both parties. IT organizations are beginning to realize they can't opt out of their security responsibilities because a third party has taken over processing chores. And service providers are getting the message that security is a top priority for most enterprise customers.

Privacy, on the other hand, has a tendency to fall between the cracks. That's because it has its own set of issues, some of which are not easy to reconcile or even recognize. A recent InformationWeek article quoted a privacy expert on the problem:

"Some cloud providers say they can store data anywhere around the world, and they won't tell you where it is," says Robert Gellman, a privacy and information policy consultant. "That's a real problem. What if they decide to store data in a country where you have a dispute or in a country where the government wants to look into your data?"

Brendon Lynch, senior director of privacy strategy for Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing initiative, mentioned this dilemma in a blog: "[P]articularly given the global nature of the data flows inherent in cloud computing, there are a number of policy questions concerning how people, organizations and governments handle information and interactions in this environment."

Those questions have to do with accountability and liability, such as, who's responsible for oversight of privacy regulation and who pays the price when it's violated? These questions and responsibilities are right now being raised by concerned customers and addressed by service providers, and they are being brought to the attention of government organizations, which will have to deal with conflicting geographical privacy regulations in a global online environment, and sooner rather than later.Security and privacy are both important issues in relation to cloud computing. And while it's easy to lump them together, security and privacy are really two separate issues, related but different. They need to be treated that way.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
7 Technologies You Need to Know for Artificial Intelligence
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/1/2019
Commentary
A Practical Guide to DevOps: It's Not that Scary
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  7/5/2019
News
Data Science Salary Survey Reveals Market Shift
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/27/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Video
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
Slideshows
Flash Poll